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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Columbia/Wrightsville Bridge 4/29/17
The Columbia/Wrightsville Memorial bridge over the Susquehanna River is
the world’s longest concrete multiple-arch bridge.
Click on photo for larger view

"A Worthy Walk"

Message summary: We must submit our ways to God in our walk, in our behavior, in our productivity and in our godly knowledge.  Let us be faithful so that we bring honor to our Father in heaven!

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"Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).

First verse to "Trust and Obey" hymn

At our age our primary means of getting physical exercise is walking and bike riding. We walk a lot in the course of our work since many of the companies we visit are large manufacturing facilities or distribution centers. On a busy day we can get 8,000 steps just from our walk-throughs. However we also walk recreationally.
We prefer rural walks but periodically enjoy a walk through a city setting. Saturday morning we went on an organized "Volkswalk" through Columbia, PA, a town along the Susquehanna River about ten miles from our home.

Columbia was founded as Wright's Ferry due to the town's founder John Wright, who developed a ferry crossing over the Susquehanna River in the early 1700's. The name was changed to Columbia (after Columbus) in the late 1780's in hopes of it becoming the nation's capital, a plan George Washington favored. A formal proposal was made in 1789 but unfortunately for the town, when Congress voted in 1790, the final tally was one vote short.

Now if it had been selected capital we probably wouldn't have any interest of living in this area since we might be inside the beltway and we can't imagine living inside a beltway since we both prefer rural settings.

Walking is a very healthy exercise and an excellent means of transportation but as followers of Christ our most important walk is not physical but rather it's spiritual. Our daily text states, "Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord."

Walk as a metaphor of our following God is first expressed in the Scriptures when "Enoch walked with God" (Genesis 5:22). The Lord spoke to Abraham, “I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless" (Genesis 17:1). It is a common theme in the Law of Moses, "Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him" (Deuteronomy 8:6) and in the Psalms, "I shall walk before the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 116:9).

Jesus taught His disciples, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes" (John 12:35).

The apostle Paul uses this theme of walking worthily several times in his writings: "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called" (Ephesians 4:1). "Walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory" (1 Thessalonians 2:12b).

Let's spend a few moments examining today's text and three elements of walking in a manner worthy of the Lord.  This involves:

1) Seeking to "please Him in all respects." This is certainly an all-inclusive statement! We are also told to "find out what pleases the Lord" (Ephesians 5:10). As followers of Christ this is an ongoing pursuit and the main source of finding out what pleases Him is the Holy Scriptures. Increasing the effort to walk with and please the Lord will run contrary to the world's way of thinking. It would be an extremely rare media interview where the "expert" directs us to dig into the Scriptures to find the Lord's answer for the problem at hand.  Additionally, we are moving into an era where "good is called evil and evil is called good" (Isaiah 5:20).

2) "Bearing fruit in every good work." Jesus Christ called His disciples to fruitfulness and good works. "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples" (John 15:8). "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). All over the world today my brethren are doing this, often unseen and normally unheralded. Their reward here on earth is seeing changed lives, and their greater eternal reward is yet to come.  Whether it's in the tough prison setting, the lonely in nursing homes, the hospice volunteer, the pregnancy crisis counselor, the medical missionary, or any door you walk through where you can shine the light of Christ in a darkened circumstance.

3) "Increasing in the knowledge of God." To do so we must read, meditate and even pray the Scriptures. Avail yourself to Study Bibles so that you become familiar with the historical settings or benefit from seeing outlines of a Bible book. Character studies of familiar and not so familiar Bible personalities are commonly featured.  Above all read the Scriptures but supplement your Bible readings with information that might help you better grasp and understand the Bible.

To summarize our text: We must submit our ways to God in our walk, in our behavior, in our productivity and in our godly knowledge.  Let us be faithful so that we bring honor to our Father in heaven!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we want to continue to live in You; our faith being rooted and built up in You, and strengthened through teaching from the Holy Scriptures and from the example of godly believers. Help us to be faithful in our walk, in our talk, in our actions, and in expanding our spiritual knowledge so that we will walk in a manner that pleases You and honors Your holy name. Amen.

Colossians 1:10-12 provides a list of items for our consideration. I will phrase them as personal questions:
  • Am I living in a manner worthy of the Lord?
  • Am I pleasing Him in all respects?
  • Am I bearing fruit in every good work?
  • Am I increasing in the knowledge of God?
  • Am I being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might?
  • Am I attaining steadfastness and patience?
  • Am I joyously giving thanks to the Father?

Reader's Note:  Yesterday we wrote a message about honoring marriage and referred to Jesse and Wilma Dourte who had just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. We received this note from a reader named Bob:

"My wife went to be with the Lord one month and a day before our 70th. I was on Navy boot leave, and had just turned 19 when we were married. My wife was 18. Some folks thought it wouldn't last. We raised five children and now have 7 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and 6 great-great grandchildren. The Lord blessed us greatly through good times and bad. I attend Lighthouse Baptist church, and play in the church orchestra. "

Some scenes from Columbia, PA

Susquehanna River, Columbia, PA 4/29/17
Early Saturday morning there was fog over the
Susquehanna River.

Wright" Ferry mansion, Columbia, PA 4/29/17
The Wright's Ferry mansion
Wright's Ferry Mansion willow tree, Columbia, PA 4/29/17
This graceful weeping willow fills up the back yard behind the Wright's Ferry mansion.

Little free library, Columbia, PA 4/29/17
We appreciate expressions of kindness wherever we see them. This miniature library was in front of a row house.

Front porch, Columbia, PA 4/29/17
"Brighten the corner where you are"
This row house porch was clean and brightly decorated with an abundance of potted flowers and plants.

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"Trust and Obey"  Video  Acappella  (Musicians not identified)

"Today"  Video  Brian Doerksen

Finally today:
Leaf-covered car, Columbia, PA 4/29/17
We serve Kleen-Rite, a company that sells wholesale car wash supplies. This is a busy season due to the pollen falling on vehicles. Looks like this car needs a heavy duty car wash!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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